Pesticide issue heads to court

MONTREAL, Feb. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Formal court proceedings were started this morning in a Kingston Court room to hear evidence on 133 charges against 29 individuals. Named in the action are the Minister of the Environment, John Gerretsen, Gerretsen's senior staff, and leading activists in the Ontario campaign to ban Health Canada approved pesticides.

Jeffrey Lowes, Director of Government Relations for M-REP Communications, has today crossed another milestone in the proceedings for charges under the Federal Pest Control Products Act (2002, c 28), the Federal Competition Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-34), Criminal Code (R.S., 1985, c. C-46).

At this point, Mr. Lowes stated: "We have no comment on the proceedings until all the summons are issued. Due to the amount of evidence surrounding the charges we will be requiring additional court dates to present additional evidence. There may be additional charges at this point as new information was given to MREP two weeks ago. When this process is completed we will continue with our actions in respect to the municipal councillors. I will be in London on Thursday to review information with lawyers before deciding on which municipality to start proceedings against councillors. Our first round will focus on the actions of councillors in Kingston, London, and Owen Sound. We will then be taking on additional staff when we pursue the issue in Toronto. Our initial findings in Toronto might be better handled in conjunction with a law enforcement agency."

Other Provinces have been closely following these developments, since M-REP Communications has been working with the industry across Canada and Mr. Lowes just spent over a week in BC and Alberta meeting with members of the industry. They are no doubt aware of the Federal Government's warning to Ontario about that Province's regulatory methodology.

Jeffrey Lowes has also previously warned Ontario's Minister of the Environment, the Minister's senior staff, and the organizations that presented the false and misleading information - which resulted in the ban - that the industry would "exercise every possible legal option". The industry's losses have now exceeded over $400 million in the 2009 season and are expected to double in the 2010 season.

M-REP Communications is a consulting services firm that provides support through a network of companies in North America and the EU on environmental policy and communications

For further information: Jeffrey Lowes, M-REP Communications, Director of Government & Industrial Relations, direct (613) 483-7855, fax (514) 221-4176, jplowes@mrepcommunications.com